I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 65th Anniversary Of The Flag-Raising At Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima - a battle during World War II that cost both the Americans and the Japanese thousands of lives. Commemorations have taken place in the United States today and many have duly noted the belligerence of this specific conflict. The fighting lasted from February 19, 1945 until March 26, 1945 and although the War ultimately ended on September 2 of that year, two Japanese soldiers on the island of Iwo Jima did not surrender until 1949 or 1951 (accounts vary). Such soldiers are referred to as "holdouts" and "stragglers".

On February 23, 1945, a photo was taken ... and not just any photo. The flag raising at Iwo Jima is one of the most recognizable images in American History and perhaps all History. The image most people know was actually the second flag raising of the day; the first flag was not large enough to be seen from other landing beaches so it was replaced with a larger flag. Here is an autograph of Charles Lindberg - he was part of the first flag raising and is believed to have been the last survivor of both flag raisings (he passed away in 2007).

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Monday, February 22, 2010

George Washington's Birthday - February 22, 2010

Today is George Washington's Birthday and we are going to go back in time to his 148th Birthday Anniversary Celebration held in 1880. Here is a promotional flyer from that event ...

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Close-up shots (note the reference to the Grand Army Of The Republic)
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A newspaper (Gazette Of The United States) from the time of his Presidential Administration (October 2, 1790) in what can be referred to as relic condition
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George's name in type after an Act along with some other well-known figures in American History whom you might recognize
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Here are some tokens and coins featuring portraits of Washington. I will go into greater depth and description of these at a later date. I plan on doing a full report on these exciting and misleading items.

From left to right, top then bottom ...

Obverse: "GEORGIVS TRIUMPHO"; Reverse: "VOCE POPLI" 1783 - the Latin phrases are George Triumphant and Voice Of The People. Many tokens of Washington that people believe to be from the Confederation Period (named after the Articles Of Confederation) were made much later than the date on the token. This is the rare exception as it is known to have circulated during that time period. The portrait looks nothing like George Washington and looks far more like George III. This is due to the fact that although he was well-known, a number of people still did not know what he looked like. A truly outstanding piece of Early Americana.

Obverse: "WASHINGTON PRESIDENT 1791"; Reverse: "ONE CENT" (and under the eagle, "UNUM E PLURIBUS" meaning One Out Of Many). This coin is real, but not real meaning it was made in the year 1791, but was unlicensed. Washington did not want his image to be depicted on any coins since this was typical of monarchs. Furthermore, this cent was made by the British in a bid to have a contract with the new nation. Washington wanted no part of it as he desired to have the minting done in America. A fantastic "could have been" specimen and an example of outsourcing rejected.

Obverse: "GEORGE WASHINGTON"; Reverse: "LIBERTY AND SECURITY". This was made around the year 1795 while he was in office. Awesome portrait - this is my favorite of all Washington tokens and coins.

Obverse: "WASHINGTON & INDEPENDENCE 1783"; Reverse: "UNITED STATES" (and at the bottom, "T.W.I." and "E.S." ... these initials give intriguing clues as to who made this token and thus when it was made). This is one of a handful of tokens bearing an eighteenth-century date, but was made in the nineteenth century. This was likely produced sometime between the 1820s and 1850s. People are constantly advertising and selling these as authentic Colonial and Confederation-Era items ... including honest and reputable political memorabilia dealers who do not know the history pertaining to these kinds of tokens. Exhaustive, yet still little-known, research has gone into this particular issue. Much more on this area of collecting when I make an actual website.


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Another Birthday has come and passed. Thanks to all who have been reading this blog!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Civil War Union Buttons - Original And Reproduction

Here is a game for all of you to play. It features two buttons that date to the time of the War Between The States as well as two buttons that were made recently. Can you tell which ones are old and which ones are new??? Not too hard, huh?

Civil War Buttons Old And New



Here is the url for the above video in case the embedding does not function properly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoEao1aZako

Saturday, February 20, 2010

William Howard Taft Signature Study

This short video will help you differentiate between what is real and what is fake.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd_T2fKPE8Y

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Going Back To 1850 For This Year's Valentine's Day

On this Valentine's Day in the year 2010, we are going to go back in time ... 160 years in fact, to 1850. Here is a Valentine Card from that very year. Cards of this age and vintage are incredibly difficult to find. I am very lucky to have acquired it. Given the card's extremely fragile condition, it is a wonder it has survived to the present day. Since this Valentine was made for the 1850 season, it was certainly produced in the late 1840s making it quite old indeed.

Here is the front

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Close-up of the center
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Some damage
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More damage
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The card opened
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Close-up of the text - you will note 1850 written in the upper right corner
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The original envelope
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Close-up of the artwork

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The back of the envelope - you can see it was once sealed
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I hope you have enjoyed viewing this very rare specimen of the early Victorian era.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tomorrow, February 11 ... Iran's Destiny

Ladies and gentlemen, in a few short hours, the sun will rise in Iran and on this day, the 31st anniversary of that country's revolution, there will be a vast and dedicated movement for freedom and human rights. I believe there may be pandemonium the likes of which that nation has never seen. Each side is bracing itself for what will be a war of words and a war of actions ... a clash of conviction and a clash of ideology. Citizens of the world, I ask all of you to wear the color green on February 11 to show support for these brave and steadfast individuals who are risking their lives in the fight for freedom and equal rights.

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